French Onion Soup

My father in law grows potatoes and onions for a living, and lets us have as many as we want for free, which is awesome! I have made a lot of recipes using his potatoes, but I don’t ever use his onions– probably because there aren’t very many main courses or even side dishes that use onions as a main ingredient. So, I thought I would learn how to rock a french onion soup! It would be a really inexpensive and delicious meal for us… [if my husband actually liked french onion soup!] He was at his Grandparents house fixing their computer and told them he’s never had a good french onion soup before, and isn’t really a fan. Then his Grandmother said: “I haven’t ever had a good french onion soup either! Good luck!” Then last minute, a couple of friends stopped in for dinner, and said: “French onion soup? What is that? I have never even tried it before.” So, I was pretty worried I had spent an hour and a half making something that everyone was going to hate! Our friends even brought a pizza as a back up plan (and something for the kiddos to eat).

Anyway, long story short- the french onion soup ended up being a HUGE hit!! I LOVED it. It wasn’t only the best french onion soup i’ve ever had, but one of the best soups i’ve ever had in general. My husband said it was the best he’s ever had- and even ate two bowls! [He never eats seconds of anything!] And our dinner guests loved it too! Even though it took some time to make, it was actually a really simple meal, so now i’m excited to have an inexpensive and really delicious winter dish. I found it on simplyrecipes.com and it got made reviews, and rightly so! Holy smokes.

Ingredients: [for 4-6 servings] 6 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
Olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups of beef stock
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1 bay leaf/2 small
1/4 teaspoon of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
8 slices of French bread (toasted either side)
1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere with a little grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Thinly slice the onions
Here’s my father in law’s beautiful onions!
In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes. Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the carmelization.
 Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the beef stock, wine, bay leaves, and thyme. Cover partially and simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.

To serve you can either use oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or dish Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. The more the better. Don’t follow the recipe. Just pile it on! Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately.
Oh yeah!

So, I have had a few french onion soups in the past, and what’s off putting to my hubby and I is the soggy bread in it. I decided to toast the french bread on both sides- and I don’t know if it was the toasting, or the type of bread I used, or both- but it held up really well. It was just better firmer, with a little texture and crunch to it… and all that gruyere made it SO divine! Our dinner guests loved it! Whenever our friend makes a pot roast he likes the onions better than the beef itself, so I think he found a new favorite tonight. As far as soups go, I think I did too! Such a perfect dish for a cold winter evening like this evening. Too bad winter’s coming to an end! Just kidding. Whoever says that??! Bring on Spring! I have a lot more delicious things to learn how to make…. maybe an onion tart tatin. Feel free to chip in ideas! I always need them!

Hope you’re all having a great week and that it’s getting warmer wherever you are!

Love, Sarah